Canada/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.2 National definition of culture

The fact that there is no single all-encompassing definition of culture in Canada is attested to by the observation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Heritage (1999) that, after two years of deliberations, the Committee was no nearer to a consensus on the definition of culture. The oldest and narrowest definition encompassed only the high professional arts and classical disciplines. The modern definition of culture in Canada comprises the arts and heritage but also broadcasting, the cultural industries and new media, and more recently, ways of life, and citizenship and identity. The evolving definition contains certain elements in common with the Council of Europe's four cultural principles: the promotion of identity and diversity, and support for creativity and participation in cultural life. It should also be noted that successive Quebec governments have also supported a "national cultural policy" that refers to successive government of Quebec cultural support policies and programmes.


Chapter published: 24-11-2008


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